Final course grades will be
based upon 2 exams, a cumulative final exam, the course
writing project, and class participation during in-class
In-class writing will be done once a week, usually in the
last 10 - 20 minutes of class, and will be turned in at the
end of that
class. The topics will vary from "what did I learn in
class today?" to expressing your opinions about astronomy
policy issues. Grammar and spelling are important, but
more important is how clearly you express yourself and your
Letter grades will be assigned as follows:
|less than 55%
The best way is by e-mail,
since I don't check my voice mail very often. Coming
to office hours is also good, and any time my door is
open, please come in.
Attendance is not mandatory,
but is highly
encouraged. If you miss an informal writing
exercise, then you receive zero
points for it, which will be reflected in your course
I will announce exam dates
at least 2 weeks in advance of the exam. If you have
a conflicting activity that cannot be rescheduled, you must see me at least 2
days before the exam. If you don't, there will be
no opportunity to make it up. You must bring me
documentation of your conflicting activity (i.e. if you
have jury duty that day, show me the form they sent
you. If you have a brain transplant scheduled, bring
me a note from the surgeon).
Algebra is required in this
course. I plan the exams so that you cannot get an A
if you get all the math problems wrong. However, if
you get every math problem wrong, but get everything else
right, you can still get a B
Calculators are allowed on the exams. PDAs,
mini-computers and cell phones with math functions are not
Please turn your cell phone
to vibrate before class starts. Cell phones that
ring in the middle of class are disrespectful to your
fellow students, and to me. If your cell phone goes
off in class and it is a call you must take, please go
into the hallway to answer it.
The faculty of the Department of Physics and
Astronomy do not tolerate academic dishonesty.
Falsification of data,
copying, unauthorized collaborations, plagiarism,
alteration of graded
materials or other actions (as described in,
but not necessarily limited to the CSUS
Policy Manual) will be promptly reported to the
Office of Student
Affairs. The offending student
will be penalized on the assignment in
question. Serious infractions will
result in course
failure and a recommendation for administrative
plagiarizing material will fail this class!!
If you have any questions about plagiarism,
come see me before you turn your project in!
Below is an
except from the CSUS official policy on plagiarism,
which may be found in its
entirety on the CSUS
web page by searching on the term “plagiarism”.
Plagiarism is the use of
distinctive ideas or works belonging to
another person without providing adequate
acknowledgement of thatperson's
contribution. Regardless of the means of
another's work into one's own requires adequate
identification and acknowledgement. Plagiarism is
unethical because it
deprives the author of rightful credit and gives
credit to someone who has
not earned it.
Acknowledgement is not necessary
when the material used is common knowledge. When the
course is not
noted, the following would constitute
1. Word-for-word copying.
2. The mosaic (to intersperse a few words of
one's own here and
there while, in essence, copying another's
3. The paraphrase (the rewriting of another's
work, yet still using
the fundamental idea or theory).
4. Fabrication (inventing or counterfeiting
5. Ghost-written material (submitting
another's effort as one's own).
It is also plagiarism to neglect quotation marks on
material that is
otherwise acknowledged. Plagiarism and acts
associated with it are
cause for disciplinary and/or legal action.
Students with disabilities:
Please see me before the end
of the first week of class.